What to Wear in Philippines

Boracay Island beach in February

Boracay Island beach in February

Manila train station, in March

Manila train station, in March

Boracay in April

Boracay in April

Boracay Island beach, in April

Boracay Island beach, in April

Boracay Island, in April

Boracay Island, in April

Local transport, in October

Local transport, in October

Sunset at Boracay, in December

Sunset at Boracay, in December

Boracay island

Boracay island

Sabang

Sabang

A Message From Helen



I want you to have an amazing vacation. That's why I started WhatToWearOnVacation.com,
to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.

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General Style Tips

  • In Manila people dress very well; appearances really do matter.
  • Restaurants and hotels do not have a dress code as such, but shorts would be regarded as improper and you'd feel really out of place.
  • Light casual clothes in natural fibers - linen, silk, cotton - work well in the heat and humidity.
  • Wear plenty of sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection), sunglasses and a sunhat. You'll need insect/mosquito repellent too.
  • Pack light as it's very easy to get clothes laundered.

What Shoes To Pack

  • Pack comfortable, sturdy footwear for traveling around the islands (try Hotter shoes, they are lightweight, comfy and stylish).
  • For evenings we love the Lindsay Phillips Switch Flops range - using interchangeable shoe and flip-flop bases with snap-on decorations, you can change your look from day to evening in an instant whilst still packing light.

Clothing Tips for Women

  • Filipino women are well-groomed and dress beautifully, with lovely jewelry.
  • Evenings are definitely a time for dressing up here, so pack your glitzy sandals and accessories.
  • A few well-chosen pieces of costume jewelry will transform any outfit.
  • And a pashmina or sarong is a versatile piece that will add a bit of 'glam' when you need it.
  • Formal occasions require cocktail dresses or long gowns.
  • The Philippines is less conservative than neighbouring countries, and shorter skirts and sleeves are acceptable. However, if you don't want to attract too much attention, don't go too short.
  • A skirt or loose-fitting pants are good in the heat and will protect you from the sun.
  • On any trips to churches and temples cover up - particularly your legs and shoulders. Use a versatile pashmina or wrap as a cover-up.
  • If you are here on business, avoid black. Business women wear designer suits with stockings.

Clothing Tips for Men

  • If you're looking for versatile and stylish beachwear, try the Madda Fella range of shirts, shorts, polos and swimwear.
  • Formal occasions require tuxedos and ties.
  • If you are here on business, avoid black. Shirts and ties are expected - with or without a jacket.
  • For great versatile travel jackets with multiple pockets including RFID security options, we love the SCOTTeVEST range.

Pack for the Weather

  • The rainy season is through June, July, August, September and October, so be sure to pack a travel umbrella and a light raincoat.
  • We love the Weather+ app - it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too - a nice way to remember your trip :) Download for iPad/iPhone or Android

Other Things To Pack

  • A bag or soft-sided rucksack is a more practical option than hard cases when traveling around the country, and using packing cubes can help to keep your belongings tidy whilst compressing the volume too.
  • Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees - use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! Authentic pearls are popular, and Palawan is the best place to buy these. You'll also find wood crafts and collections of sand and shells.
  • Combine your main bag with a beach bag or fold away day sack that will carry your essentials on day trips.
  • Don’t drink or even brush your teeth in tap water. Consider taking a Water-to-Go Filtration Water Bottle.
  • Look after your mobile phone with a phone bunjee - it protects against loss, theft and damage. And consider taking a solar powered charger as a back-up for your battery.
  • To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step down voltage converter if your devices are not designed for the local voltage (220V).

Last updated 16 December 2016.

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Pack Light

  • Less luggage to carry
  • Save time packing and unpacking
  • Save money on baggage fees

Pack Right

  • Respect local cultures
  • Feel comfortable and confident
  • Suitable outfits for all occasions

A Message From Helen



I want you to have an amazing vacation. That's why I started WhatToWearOnVacation.com,
to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.